Tuesday, January 7, 2020



Dr LOKESH CHANDRA ( born 1927).

A life devoted to genuine research and study. 

He studied at Forman Christian College, Lahore ,and later went to Universities of Lahore and Utrecht (Netherlands).
There is hardly any art , Vedic and Buddhist scholar anywhere in the world who has not read him . He is a living legend of knowledge and wisdom. Having read his essays , I say with conviction that I have not seen any person in my life who holds such a clarity and in depth knowledge about art , Vedas, philosophy and world literature . His seminal work ,'Titbetan-Sanskrit Dictionary'  in 19  volumes is sufficient to  rate him as the tallest living scholar in the world. 
Son of Sanskrit scholar Prof. Raghu Vira, Dr Lokesh Chandra belongs to a Punjabi family originally from Rawalpindi.

He is a polyglot and knows Pali, Avesta, old Persian, Japanese, Chinese, Tibetan, Mongolian, Indonesian, Greek, Latin, German, French and Russian besides Hindi, Sanskrit and English(20 Languages). He also knows many Indian languages such as Tamil, Bengla, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam and Oriya.He has published 576 books. The writings of Dr Lokesh Chandra span several languages of Asia wherein he discusses with critical acumen finer points of Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian, Tibetan, Indonesian, Persian, Arabic in intercultural contexts.

Through his books and write ups, a reader understands the ethos, loftiness and the grandeur of Indic civilization.

Only through his write ups, I have understood the exemplary role played by the Kashmiri savants and scholars in influencing religion, literature,language and art in many countries of Central Asia apart from China ,Japan, and Korea during ancient and mediaeval periods. I would have never known that the Japanese Sidham script was brought by Kashmiri Pandits to that country. I would have never known that the name Seoul for the new capital was suggested by a Kashmiri Pandit to the then rulers of Korea . I would never have known that a Kashmiri Pandit was a minister in the court of Buddhist rulers in Mongolia. I would never have known that many Kashmiri Pandits were Parmukhs in the ancient Buddhist monastery in Balkh known as Nav-Vihara before the Arab arrived in that area.Thanks only to Dr Lokesh Chandra.
Well known Persian scholar Padamshri Dr. Kashi Nath Pandita told me this :-

" I know him since the days he headed ICHR and ICCR .He is truly an amazing personality. Looking at him ,one gets convinced about the extraordinary potential of human mind . Every person can't do so. Only the gifted few can do this wonder.It is not a joke to master more than 20 complex languages of the world. His contribution towards interpreting Buddhist scriptures, paintings and ancient texts has no parallel . He has discovered India in many ancient texts of the world. Writing 576 scholarly books means dedicating all his life to this task. Simply great."

Best wishes for a healthy and more productive life to this rare breed of human being.

(Avtar Mota)

Dr. Raghu Vira father of Dr Lokesh Chandra was regarded as perhaps the most erudite figure in the Constituent Assembly of India. He was a great Sanskrit scholar plus a polyglot who could not just speak and write in nine Indian and seven European languages, but also deliver learned oration and conduct debates in them. He went on a study tour of China and came back convinced that the ‘Hindi- Chini bhai bhai’ policy was based on an illusion and that China was going to emerge as India’s biggest problem as it has hegemonic intentions. Nehru strongly disagreed which ultimately lead to him leaving the Congress, in 1961, a year before the Chinese attack. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.